So a few weeks ago, in the 30 Dates spirit of making dating fun, I thought it might be quite fun to set up two of the EDs on a completely blind date!
Under strict instructions not to tweet about the date, I arranged for both Fader and Mister Mischief to head to the Bavarian Bierhaus, Old Street. I gave them each other’s phone numbers in the final hour, in case of an emergency, and then sat back and waited to hear about the results.
I knew Fader had been less than impressed by some of the things she’d seen Mister Mischief write on the blog, but having met him in person, and realised how different Mischief was to his blog persona, I figured the date could prove to be an interesting one …
In the traditional spirit of ladies first, here is what Fader had to say about the date.
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx
In today’s world of smartphones, apps, internet dating and the like, it’s actually pretty difficult to take part in a truly 100% blind date. Usually you’ve chatted a bit via text, completed some surreptitious Facebook stalking and perhaps even done a quick Google search to “check they’re not an axe-murderer” (thanks, Mum).
This date, however, was going to be different.
Thanks to Miss Twenty-Nine, I had no idea which Experimental Dater I’d be meeting at the Bavarian Beerhouse on Old Street, right up until the moment of arrival.
The whole concept really excited me.
I’m a bit of an experience-sponge and I love gathering stories of japes I’ve got up to, not just in the dating world but in all aspects of life.
My friends were all intrigued, particularly when I explained the write-up part of the deal.
“Someone will be assessing your dating prowess?!” they goggled, aghast. “Aren’t you terrified?”
“Not really,” I replied. “If someone likes me, they like me. If they don’t, they don’t.”
“They might think you’re, well …, a bit strange.”
Thing is, I know I’m a bit strange. According to my friends I use “big words too often for no reason” and I genuinely am somewhat of a geek when it comes to words, literature, science fiction, fantasy, computer games…I just can’t help it.
I resolved a long time ago that I cannot change myself therefore these days I embrace it. If some random chap on some random blind date fancies writing a random blog saying I’m some sort of random loser, then I couldn’t care less.
So, to the date itself.
Here begins the single negative thing I am going to write up about this date, and it’s more a negative about ME than anything else.
Prior to the date, I’d messaged Miss Twenty-Nine trying to guess who she was setting me up with, but she refused to give anything away.
Coincidentally she’d just been on a last-minute date with Mister Mischief and had blogged that it was lovely.
I texted her saying how glad I was it was a nice date and that, from his blogging reputation and less-than-complimentary-towards-womenfolk first entry for 30 Experimental Dates, he hadn’t formed the best impression.
(Miss Twenty-Nine interjects … The exact text read ‘Please don’t let my blind date be Mister Mischief, because he comes across as a willy and really not my type! Hahaha!’ I’m not gonna lie, this made me grin a fair bit, knowing the whole date was already in motion!)
Wow. I know some people in my life have compared me to Elizabeth Bennet before, but I’d always assumed that was down to my slightly feisty nature than my ACTUAL JUDGMENTALNESS.
Looking back on that text since having been on a date with Mister Mischief, I’m a bit ashamed of myself.
Let’s get this out of the way first: contrary to whatever blog or tweet you might read, Mr Mischief is genuinely a REALLY lovely chap.
From the very first awkward hello to the very end of the date, he was nothing less than interesting, gentlemanly, funny and sweet.
My immediate first impressions (other than ‘bloody hell, he’s tall!’) were how warm and welcoming he was, and how he instantly put me at ease. A great start!
So, what happened on the date?
The Bavarian Bierhaus is a great place to take someone if he/she is a down-to-earth sort who loves a chat and isn’t averse to sausages on the first date. We had a chirpy waitress who managed to remain upbeat despite a huge group of blokes in poloshirts, blazers and pink trousers descending on the restaurant an hour or so into the evening. Apparently they were chanting “bring us food!” at the poor girl, yet she kept smiling throughout it all.
Service was great, and I was really impressed by Mr Mischief’s ability to both take control of ordering whilst also not making any assumptions and ordering for me.
He brilliantly suggested a sharing platter, which was delicious, and insisted on paying at the end. He didn’t even make any remarks on the fact I chose wine in a restaurant designed for drinking beer.
I knew this probably made me look really fussy but I can’t help it; beer tastes like liquid bread, which is just plain wrong.
Anyway. Conversation flowed really well throughout dinner and afterwards, which I was glad about as I hate it when it falls to me to maintain conversation during dates. I promised myself not to go on about work too much – something I ALWAYS do – then completely failed. However, he seemed to enjoy my crazy stories so perhaps I didn’t commit too huge a faux pas.
In fact, looking back on it, I probably committed very many faux pas, all of which Mr Mischief dealt with brilliantly.
Yapping on about work? Check.
Talking about past relationships? Check.
Repeatedly telling him off about his cheeky messages to girls on dating sites for his blog? Check.
Frightening him by making him guess my real name, then being aghast when he went for ‘Helen’? Check.
Getting into deep existential discussion about life, the universe and everything? Check.
My friends’ sage advice – “Don’t go on about all that serious stuff you’re into! Talk about TV!” – had gone completely out the window. In fact, I think I commented to him at one point that it was the most intelligent date I’d ever been on!
By then we were in a pub round the corner, where we went in search of cocktails after the Bierhaus. We sort of got them. Mister Mischief directed me to choose the first one, which was a good choice: spiced rum and ginger. Then, knowing he was a gin fan, we discovered a 47% gin which we just had to try. Finally, the manager remembered me from my friend’s 30th at the same pub a few months earlier and gave us some free drinks, which actually really embarrassed me as it looked a lot flashier than it was. Thankfully it allowed Mr Mischief to try bisongrass vodka and apple juice, something that I once got black-out drunk on. I think he liked it.
We both commented that we could have stayed out longer, got a bit drunker, gone for some more food then thrown some shapes of epic proportions on a dance floor.
However I was staying with a Uni friend to avoid paying for a hotel, and it was already half eleven by this point and I felt bad making a friend wait up for me.
Mischief and I got similar tubes so he was kind enough to walk me to my platform, a gentleman until the very end of the date.
I went home happy, having met a really great bloke and engaged in some mega stimulating conversation.
During the date, we talked a lot about how we’re both determined not to “settle”.
It might seem to some that we have high standards, or are picky. However, as I said on the date itself: once you know what it feels like to have that incredible connection with someone, you’re not likely to settle for anything less.
Mr Mischief wondered whether we’re just idealists, destined to be alone because we can’t find that elusive Perfect Three: attractive, shared interests, shared beliefs and ideals.
However, I know that Perfect Three exists, because I’ve already had it.
I’m not saying that there’s only one person for everyone and that I’ve had mine – far from it.
In fact, it’s just made me more determined to find that again in a new partner. A bit like Miss Twenty-Nine’s Eclipse Effect.
Attractive is always relative. Mischief, by his own admission, has a certain standard when it comes to women and how attractive they are. I teased him a lot about this throughout the date, probably as a defence mechanism as I’m quite aware I don’t hit that mark!
Ultimately, however, he’s right: you can’t change who you are/aren’t attracted to.
Life doesn’t work like that. And even if you hit the other two aspects of the Perfect Triangle, attraction does need to be there, no matter what you might say.
Or at least it needs to grow.
Mr Mischief is a great date, somebody I’d not hesitate to set up with one of my friends.
I know they’d get treated well and have a super time.
Personally, I think the distance between the Shire and London would make any romantic potential between us pretty impossible.
I am so pleased to have met him, though, and I hope I can count him as a really good mate from here on in. He’s great fun to wind up!
So, on Mister Mischief’s advice, I have reactivated my OK Cupid account! What success I’ll have I do not know (prediction: none) but at least I’m trying.
Thank you both to Mischief for a brilliant date, and to Miss Twenty-Nine for setting us up in the first place.
One of the things Mister M and I discussed was how brilliant it is to have a bunch of single people from all walks of life coming together like this, forming new friendships and doing things that, let’s face it, probably scare us a lot.
Without the 30 Dates Blog, none of this madness would have ever happened.
And finally, to the blog readers and other Experimental Daters: if you get a chance to go on a real blind date – Facebook, Google and text-message free – do it! You could end up having a fantastic time.